A lot has happened to Adele since 2011 and her smash sophomore effort titled “21.” The album responsible for “Rolling In The Deep”, “Rumor Has It” “Set Fire To The Rain” and “Someone Like You” went on to sell 11 million albums, spawn quite a few Grammy awards (8 to be exact) and generate a James Bond feature song which landed her an Oscar. The public later learned about a serious surgical procedure that saved her voice and of course, we all heard about the heartbreak that lead to her breakthrough album.
Enter today. Adele is back and with a new album titled “25.” What happened in those intervening years? I know I was excited when I turned a quarter of a century. I was somewhat out of college, young and cocky, and felt like I could take on the world. So what could this songstress do at 25? Apparently, not lose a step. I judge many albums usually by the first three songs. Are they strong? Is it well produced? What is the message of the album? I was happy to hear the first three songs on Adele’s latest were worth a four year wait.
From the big opener, “Hello” written by Adele and Greg Kirstin-The song is quite sweeping. Kirstin certain brings a darker tone with polished keyboards as his work with the indie group, The Bird and The Bee gives Adele a much needed refresher in delivery and production. Second, working with the Swedish hitmakers of Max Martin and Shellback is “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”. Their work with Taylor Swift and Katy Perry give this track a bright, foot stumping groove that certainly needs radio play and perhaps her next big single.
The true gem of the first three is “I Miss You”. Produced by Paul Epworth, his work with Florence and The Machine as well as his work “Rolling In The Deep” and “I’ll Be Waiting” on “21” makes you wonder if Adele did an album’s worth of material with Epworth-there is no telling the depth of emotion she could go to. The third track is the longest of the 11 track album (I purchased the bonus edition with three additional songs) and the most adventurous piece produced on the album.
Adele shows real maturity with “25”. From the collection of producers Adele is collaborating with on this album that also include Mark Ronson(Lay Me Down), The Smeezingtons(All I Ask) and Danger Mouse (River Lea), all of them are able to match the overall feel of heartache and reflection. What is next for Adele? Will “30” be her next movement? Whatever the title, Adele should continue to hold our interest.